Food Safety Focus (25th Issue, August 2008) – Food Incident Highlight
Salmonella and Hot Peppers
Further to the recall of tomatoes because of possible Salmonella Saintpaul contamination in the United States (US) reported in the last issue , the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has shifted its focus of investigation from tomatoes to jalapeño and serrano peppers from Mexico . The FDA now warns the public not to eat any food that contain raw jalapeño and raw serrano peppers that are grown or packed in Mexico . FDA found Salmonella Saintpaul in one sample of irrigation water and one sample of peppers in a Mexican farm that have the same genetic fingerprint as the ones found in the US outbreak. It has removed the warning on tomatoes as tomatoes currently available in the US market are not associated with the outbreak.
Locally, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has contacted relevant authorities of the US and Mexico for further information and alerted the trade on the issue. The CFS is closely monitoring the situation.
llustration: (Left to right) jalapeño and serrano peppers (Photos: Luis A. Solorzano, US FDA)